As Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built the manor to house his art collection, there's a lot going on. Priceless art and furniture fill every room, the affect can be a bit chaotic at times.
|drawing room where ladies would sew and gossip|
The Rothschild foundation are still very much involved in the running and upkeep of Waddesdon manor. Personally, I think that this is lovely, the family are obviously keen to share their collections with the nation and that is very commendable. Alice de Rothschild had very strict house rules, as she was determined to preserve the art and house for future generations.
|chandelier in the dinning room at Waddesdon Manor|
|This dragon is entirely made of folded napkins, which is actually rather impressive|
more pictures (and some risqué art) after the cut:-
There is a collection of over 300 paintings at Waddesdon. In one room we were told the painting by English and Dutch masters were valued at over £100 million. Many were acquired when the English nobility fell on hard times and the Rothschild bought them from friends.
Jeff, a brilliant steward really made the trip for me. He was about 4 foot 5, very elderly and an absolute encyclopaedia of knowledge. He kept appearing under my nose to tell me interesting facts, it was clear he loves his job and his enthusiasm was infectious. Jeff took me all around the room explaining all the iconography of the paintings.
|Gabriel Metsu-The Tête-á-Tête: A Lady Playing the Lute and a Cavalier|
The Tête-á-Tête was one of my favourites, it's not just a nice painting of a music lesson- it's actually quite racy! The Lute is an emblem of lust and lasciviousness. The gentleman in the foreground has his stockings partially rolled down- indicating he's just been doing the nasty. So, the iconography of the painting suggests, the figures are a prostitute, her client and her pimp in the background.
|plate of the Virgin Mary sporting some rather comedic boobs.|
|ceramics depicting the whore of Babylon|
If you are planing a trip to Waddesdon Manor, there are two restaurants for you to enjoy. We ate at the more informal Stables Cafe, the food was excellent and there was a good choice.
|Gardner's ale and a burger made from estate-reared beef|
|Pea and mint quiche|
Waddesdon Manor is one of the best National Trust visits I've been to, thank in a large part to the lovely volunteers and staff. If you're knowledge about art, or have interest in architecture and gardens you're in for a fantastic day out. Say hello to Jeff for me!